10 Unique and Creative Gift Ideas for High-School Graduation
Are you looking for something creative or different to give the high-school graduate in your life? Typical high-school graduation gifts can be tiresome and forgettable. The ideas on this list are unique, useful, and sure to delight any young adult as they transition into a new phase in their life and education.
These 10 ideas are appropriate for high-school graduates and can be given by friends, family members, or anyone in between. They span a variety of price points, and some can be personalized to suit your graduate's specific taste and personality.
10 Gift Ideas for High-School Graduates
- T-Shirt Quilt
- Office Supplies Basket or Gift Set
- Book With Inscriptions From Teachers, Coaches, and Mentors
- Laundry Bag With Supplies
- Gas and Restaurant Gift Cards
- Subscription to Netflix or Other Streaming Site
- College Apparel and Gear
- Tech Gift
- High School Scrapbook
- Gift Related to Their Intended Major
1. T-Shirt Quilt
Many graduates leave high school with a wide variety of t-shirts, long-sleeves, and hoodies. Shirts celebrating sports teams, band competitions, dances, class trips, and more tend to pile up in teens' closets as they make their way through their four-year tenure in secondary school.
While these t-shirts celebrate great memories and organizations, former high-school students may not have frequent occasions to wear them once they've graduated—especially as they begin to acquire new college or work-related apparel. If your student isn't ready to part with their shirts just yet, consider offering to make a t-shirt quilt to commemorate their high-school experience.
2. Office Supplies Basket or Gift Set
Even though students frequently use office supplies throughout high school, they may not yet posses high-quality supplies of their own. Items like a three-hole punch, stapler, or high-quality journal can help equip them for the work and academia that still lay ahead.
There are a number of pre-packaged gift baskets that you can purchase from retailers like Staples or OfficeMax, but you can also get creative and assemble your own. Keep your gift functional and fun, and consider personalizing the contents with colors and styles that suit your graduate's taste.
3. Book With Inscriptions From Teachers, Coaches, and Mentors
Books always make great gifts, but a book inscribed with meaningful messages from the recipient's favorite teachers, coaches, and mentors can become a deeply meaningful keepsake. In addition to close contacts from high school, consider requesting inscriptions from other important figures in the student's past such as elementary school teachers, martial arts instructors, or scout troop leaders.
by Dr. Seuss is a classic choice for high-school grads, but other inspirational texts work as well. Even a blank journal is meaningful when adorned with words of encouragement from the individuals your graduate respects most. Oh, the Places You'll Go!
4. Laundry Bag With Supplies
Like office supplies, laundry supplies are one of those things that high schoolers take for granted when they're still living at home. This may not be the most exciting gift, but your graduate will think of you fondly every time they use these practical supplies.
Big box stores often have specials on laundry baskets and bags during back-to-school sales. Fill a bag or basket with detergent, dryer sheets, bleach, and a new towel. Include a few rolls of quarters they can use for laundry machines to complete the package!
5. Gas and Restaurant Gift Cards
When my youngest sister-in-law was still in grade school, my in-laws frequently purchased gas and restaurant gift cards for me and my husband through the school's Scrip program. Grocery store, coffee shop, and movie theater gift cards make great choices as well.
When your grad is just starting out on their own, $25 off a monthly grocery purchase or the chance to have a nice meal out at a restaurant can be significant. Many big box stores and chain grocery stores carry gift cards in the check out area.
6. Subscription to Netflix or Another Streaming Site
When I started undergrad in 2001, DVD sets were a highly coveted item. While DVDs are rarely used nowadays, streaming sites like Netflix, HBO GO, and Hulu offer hours upon hours of on-demand entertainment.
Access to one of these services can provide your graduate with a well-needed respite from their hectic, post-high-school schedule. While this isn't the most personal gift on this list, it will certainly be used and appreciated by the recipient on a regular basis.
7. College Apparel and Gear
When I decided where I was going to undergrad and got my first college shirt, I wore it at least once a week until I started classes. Even though college students will have numerous opportunities to purchase or acquire university apparel, having some initial gear to take to school is a huge thrill.
If your grad has college plans, you can't go wrong gifting them a hoodie, tank top, or gym bag from their chosen university. If you don't live in the university's city, consider ordering online. Many school bookstores offer gear and apparel on their websites.
8. Tech Gift
Young people love technology. Whether you go big and get them the newest iPhone or elect to purchase a less expensive gadget like headphones, a bluetooth speaker, or a USB thumb drive, you can rest assured that your gift will get plenty of use.
If your graduate has a vehicle, car phone chargers and media-playing devices make great gifts. If they plan to enter a specific field like graphic design or architecture, occupation-specific computer programs are also a safe choice. Adobe offers a variety of graphic design and photo-editing applications, and programs like SketchUp and SolidWorks are must-haves for 3D-modeling buffs.
9. High School Scrapbook
If you are the crafty, project-oriented type, consider creating a scrapbook of high-school memories for your graduating teen. Be sure to include photos, but don't stop there. Tickets to concerts and sporting events, awards, certificates, and other ephemera make great additions as well.
For those of you who aren't particularly crafty, a number of scrapbook template options that can help you get started are available online. You and the graduate can work together to design the layout, or you can compose it on your own and surprise them. Consider leaving some empty space in the scrapbook so the graduate can add any important photos or documents you may not have thought of.
10. Gift Related to Their Intended Major
If the graduate in your life plans to continue their education, consider getting them a gift that pertains to their intended major, specialty, or area of study. For many students, one of the most exciting aspects of college is the chance to start taking more classes in a specific academic area that they really enjoy.
For the biology major, consider gifting a microscope and some blank slides. If geology is their forte, get them a pick, a chisel, and a Mohs hardness test kit. Blank notebooks and sketchbooks are always appreciated by writers and artists. This is your chance to encourage your graduate to pursue their specific interests, so don't be afraid to go big!
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© 2012 Rose Clearfield